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ST. ANASIMON THE ANCHORITE QUEEN

Anasimon was raised in her fatherís palace as a royal child. When she reached seven years old the king brought her a chaste philosopher priest and assigned him to teach her the fear of God. He began reading to her the news of the saints, fathers, anchorites, monks, hermits, and the wonders they made. Also, how they raised the dead with the power of God, how they struggled and cast out demons. From then on she longed to share the inheritance with those saintly fathers and she continued reading unceasingly the saintsí news. She kept away from the royal childrenís traditions; their clothes, their food, and their drink. She secretly wore under her clothes a dress made of coarse wool. She denied herself all pleasant food without anyone knowing. She wanted to escape at night to some of the monasteries but she couldn't because she feared her father. She became confused and kept crying day and night. Then she raised her eyes towards heaven and said, "Lord you know the secrets of the heart. Ease for me oh Lord the road that I should take to please You." She kept praying unceasingly and donated whatever came to her from her fatherís palace such as food etc.ÖÖ Also the fruits, all the goods and riches, while she ate only dry bread and salt. The Lord appreciated her sincere will and her desire to do God's will with all her heart. At that point her mother passed away to the eternity and also did her father. There was great sadness because he reigned over seven states. All the leaders, presidents, and soldiers had a meeting in the kingís palace and discussed enthroning the kings daughter, Anasimon, immediately and placing her in charge over her late fathers kingdom before the kingdom should disassemble. So, all the dignitaries of the city, the priests, bishops, Archbishops, and all the leaders in the city gathered to force her against her will. The Pope anointed her and placed the crown on her head. The people screamed loudly and sang with loud voices, "Alleluia! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord." There was happiness and gladness as never seen before and she looked extremely elegant and beautiful. When she sat on the throne all the authorities obeyed and submitted to her all the great castles and forts. Then she released all the war captives and prisoners in her kingdom. She donated and consecrated many properties to the monasteries, the poor, widows, and orphans. She continued her habit of praying, fasting, watchfulness and vigil. She led that way of life for one year until one night while she was alone she said to herself; "Anasimon, Jesus the Master gave you all your heartís desires and you reached all your goals, and what can you benefit from being here in this vanishing world with its many obstacles? If you want the everlasting heavenly kingdom, it must be now. The Master Jesus granted you time, power and freedom to do whatever you want. No one can control you, so don't let the world with all of its ornamentation and fleeting luxuries tempt you to leave the comfort of the heavenly kingdom. Didn't you hear what is written in His Holy Gospel that ĎAnyone who does not carry his cross and follow me doesn't deserve me.í ?" She got up right away and fulfilled this plan and expropriated the royal crown and said, " My Lord Jesus Christ for the sake of Your great love I'm leaving the kingdom which I inherited from my parents and grandparents." She wore the old clothes of one of her kitchen maids, covered her head and walked barefooted. She knelt down besides her bedroom three times bidding farewell saying, "The Lord be with you until His will is fulfilled." Then she looked at her pretty palace and bid farewell saying, "I leave it to Jesusí care." Then she came to the door of the palace, opened it and knelt down three times kissing the ground and said; "Lord open the door of Your mercy to my face because You know oh Lord my nature for I am a woman and a weak vessel, so don't leave me alone. Be with me my Helper, protect me, because I know no one else but You." She took her Bible and a pamphlet on monasticism news. Then she blessed herself with the sign of the Holy cross and departed from her palace toward the wilderness leaving Constantinople. It was a dark night and the Lordsí angel protected her for she didn't know the place in which she was going. She walked until dawn. Her feet were bleeding from the dew of the night and the heat of the sun and still she was glad. But the enemy troubled her with many dangers and hunger attacked her and she began eating grass. She wandered in the wilderness not knowing her way and she never saw any other human being. When she was on a mountain she used to see the beasts come and listen to her from the morning until nine oíclock, and then they would return to their dens. She began moistening pits from the dates and ate them. She was thinking to herself and saying, "To fatten the herd of sheep people used to feed them moistened date pits. Woe to you soul because you left the peoplesí kingdom and you became the beastsí queen in the wilderness." She thought to herself and said, " To save my soul I will get up and go to one of the monasteries and serve there in its miserable insignificant places, laboring and carrying the cross for God. I will have patience on the people who insult me." And she walked until she reached a monastery that had three hundred nuns. She reached the door as if she were a simple minded fleeing fugitive. The door keeper saw her and she informed the Abbot Mother Superior who come out with some nuns to meet her. When she saw them she ran back. They said she seemed as if she was simple minded. They kept mocking her until they could catch her. They brought her inside the monastery. They felt amazed and sorry for her. She would clean the bathrooms and would anxiously do anything they asked of her. She would grab a little soup, drink it and sleep on the groundÖ and they wondered about herÖ and she remained doing this for a whileÖ It happened that one of the fathers asked the Master Jesus to show him the ranks of the saintly fathers. Jesus showed him the fathers and told him that none of them reached St. Anasimon ís status for she left her kingdom and authority and acted as if she were crazy. When he heard that he was astonished and went to the nuns. When he arrived and the nuns took his blessing, he looked left and right until he saw St. Anasimon crowned with light and wearing a heavenly garment. The others didnít see it. They said to him, "Our father, get away from this crazy woman." He looked at them and cried saying; "I am the one who is crazy, poor and ignorant. Open your eyes and look at this Holy Saint; the Great Queen." Then he caught her hand while she was trembling. He said, "This is Anasimon who owns seven states and who left her palace open and looked for the Master Jesus with all her heart. My Master Jesus Christ let me know that most fathers didnít reach her status." When they heard this they began to weep and knelt down at her feet crying and saying, "Forgive us our sins Holy Saint." They kept on doing this until midnight. When they slept St. Anasimon opened the Monasteryís door secretly and leftÖ and nobody saw her. In the morning they went out looking for her but they didnít find any sign of her. They didnít know where she went. One day it happened that a cityís priest was sleeping in the center of the church when he smelled a holy scent in the sanctuary. He said, " I hastened and opened the sanctuaryís door and found a person standing and praying while the doors were closed. At that point I was trembling and fell unconscious on the ground. He held my hand and stood me up saying Ď Donít be afraid." and called me by my name. My fear went away, then he told me; "Hurry up and give me some flour and wine because I want to make some Corban for the Holy Thursday enough for four hundred fathers." I asked; " Where are they?" He replied; " Itís not for you to know where they are. Gain for yourself a blessing and give me what I asked for." Then I brought some flour and wine and I asked him if he wanted more. He said, " No thatís enough." He bid me farewell and before he left I asked him; "For Gods sake, take me with you and show me those fathers" He said to me " You have no need for that." And when I insisted he said to me, " Wait for me to come next year on the same date and hour." He bid me good bye and left. I counted the days for a whole year and on the same day and hour, while I was sleeping, the smell of incense filled the whole place. I got up and quickly opened the door and found that person standing there. I threw myself on the ground and knelt down at his feet and said, " Bless me my Master." He blessed me and I kissed his hand and asked for his brothers, he answered " They are praying for you." "My father you promised me before." I told him. He answered, "Itís better for you not to go with me." I answered, "For Godís sake take me with you." He said, "Itís not possible now, but give me what you have of the blessed Corban for the Holy Thursday." I gave him as he had asked, but I was sad. He told me; "On the same day, at the same time, double this blessing of Corban and wait for me outside of Alexandria and I will be there with the Lord Jesus Christ's power." Then he took the blessing and took his leave. I was very amazed. The days were very long, and I continued to watch the time until it came. I doubled the blessing as he had ordered me. I took it and went outside of the city waiting for him until the time came. The person came as if lightning or a windstorm. I felt a great fear and I kissed him and gave him the blessing. Then he asked me, "Do you wish to see my brothers?" I answered; "Yes Master." He said, "Hold on to your clothes well and donít wonder about what you are going to see." Then he held me well and blessed my face with the Holy Cross and told me; "Hold on." And he walked three steps and then I donít know what happened,Ö I heard the whistling sound of the air and the roar of the sea and clashing waves. I had a great fear and before sunrise we reached a great monastery which had nice buildings. We entered a church, I have never seen one like it. The fathers, amongst whom were some old men, started to enter the church and when I saw them I became afraid. The priest celebrated the Holy Liturgy and then gave the Holy Communion. I saw an elderly monk who looked like an eunuch, standing next to the door of the altar and two elders were holding him on his right and his left. Then the priest pointed at me and said; "Bless this father, for he is the one who gives us the blessed Corban." Then each one placed their hand on my head and blessed me. Then he asked me to go back to my residence and my church "Because your congregation needs you." I said to him; "For Godís sake let me stay here with these fathers." He answered, "It is impossible, because they are four hundred in number and when one passes away the Lord sends us another one instead." I asked, "My father, who is that old man who looks like an eunuch, with the two holding him?" He answered me, "My brother this is the Holy Saint Anasimon, daughter of the Roman king the one who inherited the kingdom after her father and left her palace door open and then left seeking the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no one older or greater than her in this wilderness and she is their Abbot. She is the one who cures the wounds of their thoughts by using her holiness as a therapeutic lotion. She is the Abbot of four hundred fathers. I was very much amazed. I asked how did they live. He said; " Some of them eat fruits and others eat wild weeds. On the same day of every year, which is the Holy Thursday, they come here and stay Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, which is Easter. They receive the Holy Communion and take each otherís blessings. Then they depart separately until the end of the year and they never meet each other. Then he told me, "Letís go to your city." I left with him and I was very sad because I was leaving behind those Holy places. He walked a little bit with me and said "Christ help you." and then he disappeared. I was so thirsty and almost reaching death. I laid down and couldnít stand up. I felt so hopeless, I looked up and found that person. I was so happy, then he took a green grass from the ground and gave it to me. When I tasted it all hunger and thirst, tiredness and pain were gone. Then he said to me, "Get up and go to your house ." Then I felt as if I were hearing the sound of the roaring sea, and in a while I was standing in front of the door of the church I serve in. He ordered me to be silent until I pass away. He blessed me and left. That father visited me every year and took the blessing until my hour of death approached. That is what I saw, I am a witness of the saintsí news, and when I used to ask him again about the fathers and if they had decreased one or asked to see them once more, he used to tell me that it was impossible. May the Lord Jesus and the grace of the Holy Spirit, who blessed those fathers, grant us the ability to see their faces in the heavenly kingdom. To God is due all glory and honor for ever and everÖ Amen


LINKS TO OTHER ANCHORITES

ANBA POULA: THE FIRST ANCHORITE
ANBA TOMAS: THE ANCHORITE
ANBA KARRAS: THE ANCHORITE
ANBA MOUSA: THE ANCHORITE
ANBA STRATIOS: THE ANCHORITE
ANBA ONNOPHRIOS: THE ANCHORITE
ANBA MISAEL: THE ANCHORITE

Anchorite@copticmail.com



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